Vintage VSA555

Despite being one digit from the number of the beast, the 555 is perhaps the most wholesome in the group. Vintage refers us to the "slim, bound f-hole body" and theorises that the "gently arched front and back feel attractive and comfortable to play".

And the Wilkinson alnico humbuckers? Well, they "push out thick dollops of prime guitar tone". Blimey.

If you're after a cheap semi that looks iconic from a distance, you'll be hot for the 'Mickey Mouse' cutaways, f-holes and Gibson-style tuners.

It feels tough and plays smooth, with a manageable neck profile and familiar scale. The body has a slight tendency to pull away when seated, but it's so light you should be standing anyway.

Trev Wilkinson's played a blinder with his twin 'buckers. We got the best results cranking the volume on the neck and peeling off some lazy rock licks.

This setting was superbly powerful with moderate distortion too. The bridge item would eat up a solo in a live context, but doesn't quite have the authority of its thicker-voiced sibling.

Overall, though, this is one workhorse you should take for a ride.

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars
Pros

Iconic looks, solid execution.

Cons

Bridge lacks character.

Verdict

The dependable choice. Recommended.

Country of Origin

UK

Available Controls

2 x Tone 2 x Volume 3-way Pickup Selector

Available Finish

Ebony

Fingerboard Material

Rosewood

Guitar Body Material

Maple

Hardware

Gold tulip tuners, tune-o-matic bridge and stop bar

Neck Material

Maple

Pickups

2 x Wilkinson Double Coil

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.